Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who has said he is considering retiring when his term expires in December, 1992, raised $100,000 in a fund-raiser Thursday night just in case he decides to run for an unprecedented 11th term.
Hahn added to the suspense surrounding his political future by staging the $1,000-a-plate dinner to finance a possible reelection campaign next June.
Hahn refused comment on his plans Friday and he did not tip his hand at the dinner, which featured a 10-minute video depicting Hahn's accomplishments.
"He didn't say that he was going to run," said City Councilman Nate Holden, who attended the dinner at the posh Tower restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. "He didn't say that he wouldn't either."
Mas Fukai, Hahn's chief deputy, said: "He hasn't made up his mind. He's getting ready in case he decides to run again." If he chooses not to, he could give the funds to his choice for a successor.
Hahn, who turns 71 Monday, has said that he will announce his plans in October. Hahn suffered a stroke in 1987 that left him partially paralyzed, wheelchair-bound and forced him to cut back his schedule. He has said his wife wants him to retire when his 10th term ends.
In the past few months, Hahn's staff has put together 90 boxes of memorabilia that Hahn has gathered during four decades as a supervisor. Aides have described this as a housekeeping move.
According to those at the fund-raiser, Hahn told the crowd of about 100 that he has unfinished business, including pushing for construction of an undersea pipeline to bring water from Alaska to drought-stricken California.
Hahn's retirement would likely open the door for the election of the first African-American to the board. Hahn's 2nd Supervisorial District, which encompasses South-Central Los Angeles, is heavily black.
Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, who is black, was appointed to the board in 1979 but lost when she ran for election in 1980.
Hahn has recently been criticized by black leaders for his defense of Police Chief Daryl F. Gates and Sheriff Sherman Block in the wake of the police beating of Rodney G. King and the fatal shooting of Arturo Jimenez at the Ramona Gardens housing project.